If your dog looks stiff and achy when they walk or stand up, they're not alone. Many older canines develop arthritis in their joints over time. Sometimes it's the result of an old injury, while other times it's joint inflammation from their diet or an allergic reaction. Luckily, if your dog does have arthritis, there are plenty of treatment options, like carprofen
Diagnosing your dog
Of course, your veterinarian is the only person who can truly diagnose your dog with a condition like arthritis. But before you take your furry friend in to be looked at, you should learn to spot the signs yourself.
Arthritis is characterized by stiffness, joint pain, lameness, weakness, exhaustion, changes in movement, and cries of pain when touched on the joints. The older or more obese a dog is, the more likely they are to have arthritis. Affecting nearly one-fifth of all dogs, arthritis can be very painful and debilitating. The big problem here is that dogs are not always the best at telling us when they are in pain. Some telltale signs that your dog might have arthritis is if they exhibit issues with basic mobility, such as avoiding jumping or games that they used to love.
How you can help your pooch
Once your veterinarian gives your dog the diagnosis, it's time for you to help them out with some medication. Here are a few of the drugs on the market that can enhance your dog's quality of life and make them feel like they have their healthy joints back again.
- Carprofen - Carprofen, or Rimadyl, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that stops your dog's joints from becoming inflamed and painful at a chemical level. Try the chewable version of this drug to make it hassle-free and pleasant for your dog. What dog wouldn't want to eat a pork-flavored treat that makes their joints feel better?
- Dexamethasone - This corticosteroid is an effective treatment for a variety of dog ailments, including arthritis. It's designed to limit and reduce swelling and inflammation. It's a serious drug and should be administered as directed by the doctor and not stopped abruptly. Despite its warnings, dexamethasone can be very effective and has helped many dogs.
- Adequan Canine - Forget the daily pills, Adequan Canine is an injectable drug that lasts for three days. Administer this prescription medication intramuscularly and see the results in two hours. After using the medicine for about four weeks, you can expect big improvements.
- Deramaxx - Deramaxx is an NSAID that helps relieve joint pain and swelling for arthritic dogs as well as those who have recently had surgery. It comes as a chewable and is flavored like beef - perfect for picky pooches. Also, it only blocks the COX-2 enzyme, unlike other medications that block multiple enzymes. This results in a tactical treatment that promotes healthy body functions while still attacking joint pain.
- Metacam - Metacam is a liquid NSAID for dogs who can't handle pills or chewables, like carprofen. It works against any type of arthritis as well as injuries or surgeries that cause musculoskeletal discomfort.
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